DANCE OF THE FLOWER CHILDREN
This piece is the culmination of the growth of two previously separate groups of images.
One began with The Birth of the Flower Children, a much smaller piece, about 18” tall, and the first Carrara marble I had carved, in 1993. That sculpture was much more static, the couple were carved more crudely, and they were only slightly emerged from the flower. Second in this line was the Birth of the Flower Children #2, which is now on loan to Westcott Bay Reserve Sculpture Park on San Juan Island. It is nearly one ton, white Alaska marble, and depicts the couple horizontally, swirling around each other in a huge flower, perched atop a smaller black marble block. It is about 4 ft across, and on the base is about 4ft high as well. In this one the couple are less fully delineated, but it is full of fluidity and motion. Both of these pieces represent our origins in the natural world, and our interdependence with all the manifestations of the life force.
The other line has been evolving much longer. It began with a very small woodcarving, about 12” high, and I did three versions of it in wood. They all depict a standing couple, rather abstracted, with their arms around one another, and their feet growing like roots out of a spherical form. One of these, in black walnut, was a wedding gift from my son to his wife. I don’t recall that it had a title, but when I tried it in stone, I called it Slow Dance. The stone version is 7 ft tall, 2 ½ tons of Indiana limestone, and after two years on loan to Westcott Bay Reserve, it was purchased by a lovely couple and moved to their estate, also on San Juan Island. Before carving it I made a 20” macquett in the same stone, and subsequently had a bronze version made from that. These sculptures also are about romance, and the circle of life of which we are all participants.
Flower Children Dance brings the two lines together. It is intended to convey the joy of really belonging in the natural world. We are born of the flowers, and bees, and rain, and sky, and it is wonderful to be alive. We revel in it! It also recalls the prophetic wisdom of Frank Zappa when he sang “there will come a time when you can even take your clothes off when you dance. La-la-la-la.”
This sculpture is carved of Carrara marble, and the stylistic form is also a part of a progression I have been working on for some time. Most often stone sculptures are solid masses, without much negative space, for stone has traditionally been treated as a material that should retain its earthlike form. Extended arms and legs were done in bronze sculptures, but were considered too fragile or otherwise unsuitable for marble. Beginning with the two She Flies pieces, I have been introducing light and space into the core of my marble sculptures. Modern abrasive carving tools, in particularly diamond saw blades, have allowed me to go beyond what was attainable with traditional impact tools. I hope the viewer approves.
On the round steel base, it stands about 4 ½ feet tall, weighs about 700 lbs. It is the second version of this image, the first being yule marble and about 24 inches tall. Perhaps a third will emerge, a little larger or in a different stone. Who knows?
Peace and Love
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